Lucia held her breath. If she let the paint dry and the canvas framed, nothing would move again. The garden that burned with vibrant greens and crimson violets would stop its sway. Whizzing dragon-flies and fluttering birds would halt mid-flight. Sun and moon would forestall their billion-year cycle. Life continued so long as her brush continued she thought. However, this was a mistake. She recalled a nugget of wisdom. “An artist should know when the work is complete but not before. Too early and the painting will feel wanting. Too late and the painting will do too much.” As these questions nagged at Lucia, her husband in the distance announced that lunch was ready. Lucia’s vision faded and the memory of her late grandmother and her final words evaporated into thin air. The painting was done.
In a cavern deep below the Earth’s crust, the seven seas flowed as one river and out as one ocean. A colossal tree sat at the river’s mouth whose immense roots channeled the raging currents up its trunk and to branches that touched every continent. Within the world-tree, the mother of creation wept. She could no longer cleanse the pollution that her progeny had wrought in their quest for progress. Fearing that the damage would be irreversible, she cut open one of the tree’s arteries and mixed the water with several tear drops. Those who breathed the air above saw her vision.